Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 17, 2009

PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THIS LUNATIC.... Glenn Beck, Fox News' deranged media personality, has been telling a national television audience that the Obama administration might be setting up secret "concentration camps" to lock up conservatives. The president, Beck believes, may be using FEMA in this conspiratorial drive towards "a totalitarian state."

Beck, who has already voiced his affinity for the John Birch Society, is also distributing Birchers' literature to his audiences.

If he were just some random right-wing blogger, it would be easier to laugh this off. If he were just some strange man screaming on a street corner, social service agencies might be called in to help the guy out. But instead, people are listening to this nut.

In fact, Beck has been dominating cable news recently. According to TVNewser's charts of Nielsen ratings, out of all the cable news networks, his Fox show has consistently placed second in the key demographic of viewers aged 25 to 54 over the past couple weeks, beating even Sean Hannity's and trailing only "The O'Reilly Factor." When it comes to total viewers, too, Beck's been cleaning up, generally placing third, just behind Hannity.

But Beck got his biggest audience numbers yet for a special he hosted on Friday, a special so ludicrous and over-hyped that Fox's own Shep Smith couldn't help but have a little fun at his colleague's expense.

But it paid off: That one episode of Beck's program got the highest ratings in the key demographic for the entire month of March so far. In total, TVNewser reports, "There were more viewers watching Beck's 5pm show than watched the entire prime time (8-11pm) lineups on CNN and MSNBC."

Kevin Drum argued the other day, "It's more and more obvious that Glenn Beck has decided that becoming a male Ann Coulter is good for his ratings. So his show is now dedicated to saying increasingly outrageous things solely in an attempt to get liberals to denounce him and drive his ratings yet higher. Conclusion: it's time to start ignoring him, right?"

Maybe, but I'm not sure. Beck, far more than Coulter, seems to believe what he's saying. Coulter craves controversy -- she's a clown pretending to be a provocateur -- but Beck literally seems mad. He sees bizarre and elaborate conspiracies, and worse, seems to perceive himself as the leader of an unstable movement.

Coulter is harmless. Is Beck?

Steve Benen 9:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (80)

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Comments

Weren't there rumors of concentration camps being built during the W administration?

Posted by: pol on March 17, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase Ingraham: "[he's] a useful idiot for the media."

Time has come to stop focusing on the bright/shiny idiot and begin focusing on the person whom is ultimately responsible should malady and mayhem come from Beck's rantings - one Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's priority right now should be to pull Beck off the air asap before more parish killings happen, or more of "Beck's people" get any more violent.

Rupert guides the substance and delivery of material in his media kingdom, so let it be him to bear the blame for Beck's idiocy! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 17, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

I believe that it is a bad starting premise to believe that Coulter is harmless.

Comparing Coulter to Beck, with anything favorable, is like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer is harmless compared to John Wayne Gacy.

Maybe Coulter is just evil & Beck is evil and a lunatic, but that does not make Ann harmless.

Posted by: SadOldVet on March 17, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think ignoring crazy people works. Particularly when other crazy people are taking them crazy. Its much better to expose him and then do a through take down without any personal insults. That way people who are on the fence about him have a viable source to show them that Beck is "teh crazy". The more we stick our heads in the sand the higher the likelihood that he will set some lunatic off much like Bernie Goldberg's book did with the guy who shot up the church in Knoxville. Its always better to confront evil than ignore it and let it grow stronger.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla on March 17, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I saw some of his lunacy, as much as I cared to sit thru. It seems like his scripts are written by some one from the Colbert Report. Is Murdoch (much like the rest of the Right) out of ideas?

Posted by: effluvientOne on March 17, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Coulter isn't harmless. Beck is probably helpful to the left - there is a limit to the number of people who want to ally themselves to out-and-out right-wing nuts. But I don't think it's wise to ignore him no matter what. The Clinton impeachment was promoted years before Monica by frothing lunatics who operated unseen and under the radar. Better to shine the light on them early and often.

Posted by: DanG on March 17, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Weren't there rumors of concentration camps being built during the W administration?"

No rumor - fact. Camps, capable of holding hundreds of thousands, were built (by Halliburton, of course) during the Bush administration. The public rational was to be able to round up and hold illegal immigrants.

Posted by: SadOldVet on March 17, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

The notion of concentration camps for conservatives would have more legs if there were any real conservatives left to put in them. The right has abandoned conservatism.

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on March 17, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

FOX News is a depressing nest of lunacy. However, Media Matters calls out CNN, MSNBC and dozens of other media for foolery, deceit and brazen inaccuracy every day. Whether it originates from the left, right or center bad journalism (cough) deserves ridicule and a calling to account. Equally dispiriting is that corrections, apologies and mea culpas are issued grudgingly, sparingly and with far less prominence than the idiocy preceding them.

Posted by: steve duncan on March 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Oricus has a great series of essays on the function these far right loons server in the Republican ideology machine. They constantly try and push irrational far right ideas into mainstream discourse. The birth certificate baloney is a perfect example of this phenomena. For those of you you aren't familiar with the work of Dave Neiwert I would call him America's keenest monitor of the American far right and fascist ideas.
http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Northern Observer on March 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

The reich-wing has a seemingly unending supply of lunatics - all competing for 'megalomaniac of the month'.

Beck is not the only reich-wing lunatic. He is just the current 'flavor of the month'.

My bet is for Hannity to make a comeback. More of his polling like "What kind of revolution appeals most to you?" It will help him in the contest for reich-winger of the month.

Don't count out Chuck Norris who wants to be President of Texas!

As always, RushBo will be a solid contestant.

For those who like playing the longer odds, Lou Dobbs may be where you want to place your bets.

Posted by: SadOldVet on March 17, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

That must have part of Shrub's re-education plan of "Leave no immigrant behind".

Yet, Beck can't get to the bottom of the Anniston-Bayer split - Who left whom?

Coulter has one self purpose - To receive advances for more books. Beck is far more of a born again zealot. Late to the party types creates more zealotry - They "TRULY" believe the voices in their heads.

Posted by: berttheclock on March 17, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

I'm amazed that no one sees the parallel to Network. Beck is somewhat like a Howard Beale with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The sad part of it is that in this version of the story, there is no William Holden character to try to dial back the psychotic, and the Faye Dunaway part is played by Roger Ailes (ugh). I guess that would Make Rupert Murdoch Ned Beatty, but somehow I doubt that he's going to be giving Beck the voice of God speech.

Posted by: Singularity on March 17, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I used to think there was nothing worse than an ex-smoker ..... until these encounters with losing Republicans.

Posted by: coral on March 17, 2009 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

He's this depression's Father Coughlin, or is at least trying out for the position.

The great unstated in our politics is the right's implied threat to throw over the chessboard if they don't get their way. Beck is making the threat explicit.

Posted by: angler on March 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

It's hard to feed the tv beast and keep the audience hungry. But outrageous does that. It sells. And that's the point of saying something outrageous to someone like Beck. Some day he will take credit, or be given an honor, for stopping the concentration camps for consrvatives that were never going to be built in the first place, because after all it a dangerous world out there when the Liberals are in charge and the TRUE BLUE American patriots need to be honored and recognized for their courage, vision, and ability to make the big one up that draws an audience;, otherwise known as the Rush Limbaugh award for journalistic integrity, also known as The OxyMoron Award.

Meanwhile, Beck's solution to his imaginary problem of a concentration camp for conservatives is to build a concentration camp for the liberals who haven't denounced the made up story of the concentration camp for conservatives. As for the conservatives who haven't denounced the story of the made up story of a concentration camp for conservatives, well, as Beck notes today: They really aren't conservatives.

Posted by: gone_west on March 17, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it conceivable that a good portion of Beck's growing audience is tuning in simply out of morbid curiousity to watch a train wreck? I watch about 10 minutes of O'Reilly every week for that very reason.

Posted by: Norwood Woman on March 17, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Fox had been losing viewers in fairly significant numbers over the past few years? The people watching Beck are the ones who work in the underground wingnut email factories, creating those pass around emails written in 24 point red font that we too often receive from our overbearing but undereducated relatives.

Posted by: Varecia on March 17, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

First, look deep into his eyes, then clasp your Bible to your chest with your left hand, now take up that handy assault weapon with the other...now you're ready to hit the streets with the conservative message!

Posted by: Capt Kirk on March 17, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

If you noticed, Beck cries a lot. He is a sissy-boy, a girly-man who is very fearful, and probably afraid of his own shadow. I hope this mental-midget can get somee good psychological help. He needs it.

Posted by: Steve Falcon on March 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

It's one thing to worry about a media wingnut nudging some cracker over the edge, who then shoots something or someone in the name of conservatism. It's a far creepier feeling to fear a media wingnut is buying ammo himself.

Posted by: episty on March 17, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck, Fox News' deranged media personality, has been telling a national television audience that the Obama administration might be setting up secret "concentration camps" to lock up conservatives. The president, Beck believes, may be using FEMA in this conspiratorial drive towards "a totalitarian state."

Well, according to the GOP isn't that the president's right to do? What do they have to complain about?

Posted by: Stefan on March 17, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

The notion of concentration camps for conservatives would have more legs if there were any real conservatives left to put in them. The right has abandoned conservatism.

The right has abandoned their attempt to enrich corporate economic vested interests at the expense of the people? They've abandoned their defense of the status quo? I don't think so.

Posted by: Stefan on March 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Glen Beck is a dick.

Posted by: stevio on March 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck is a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on March 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what keeps me from dismissing Beck as laughable: the Knoxville church murders to which sgwhiteinfla alludes. Jim Adkisson, who set out to kill as many "liberals" as he could, was a steady consumer of exactly the kind of paranoid ravings that are Beck's new stock in trade. Beck is dangerous and his enablers are utterly irresponsible. That these increasingly extreme "Red Dawn" fantasies are being given mainstream media prominence is deeply disturbing.

The Glenn Beck story will not end well.

Posted by: Cuttle on March 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

...a male Ann Coulter...

No need to be redundant.

Posted by: doubtful on March 17, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Coulter is harmless. Is Beck?"

I am not sure whether the answers to Coulter and Beck really hinge on whether they truly mean what they are spouting or whether they are just clever enough to realize that there is a following out there for this stuff and that they can make a comfortable and high profile living serving this market segment.

The really worrying thing about the commercial success the two of them are having, is what it says about the level of ignorance, polarization and outright hatred that is out there among the American public.

No doubt, Coulter and Beck are throwing fuel into the flames, but the real issue is how large the pyre is before they do so.

Posted by: SRW1 on March 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Beck's audience consists of people who watch Fox News.

It's a self-selected group. They don't watch other news, or read other news. It's not a general audience.

They're like the audience for a cult movie.

Posted by: alan on March 17, 2009 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Beck is just parroting the ravings of Savage, who seems to have become the symbols of the right gone completely insane.

Posted by: gregor on March 17, 2009 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

It's high time to quit pussying around about the rights of the Media in cases like this. Accusing administrations of such things is a form of libel/slander. I know, Bush could have suppressed dissent too but in trials about libel the facts are the point, not the general rights of speech and such. Accusations of a certain sort do, or at least should, violate FCC rules - ?

Posted by: Neil B ♣ on March 17, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Judging by the ratings, what Beck is offering now is what most Fox viewers want to see. It isn't Beck who scares the crap out of me, it's all the potential lunatics who listen to him. If 1 out of every 100 of his viewers are unhinged enough to act, we're potentially looking at an unprecedented wave of right-wing violence.

Posted by: Shalimar on March 17, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

No wonder publishers have reprinted Richard Hofstader's 50 year old book: "The Paranoid Style In American Politics." Professor Hofstader was writing about Beck and his right wing lunacy before Beck was born.

Posted by: Ted Frier on March 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Beck, Limbaugh, Boortz, and the rest remind me of the early scenes in Hotel Rwanda where talk radio essentially organized and directed the Hutus to take up arms and murder nearly a million Tutsis "cockroaches" (and their Hutus defenders).

Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but after watching that movie, I've never taken talk radio and Fox News lightly again. Their power of persuasion over those susceptible to a dangerous combination of group think and hate continues to astound me. (e.g. When I talk politics with my Republican father, he often repeats talk radio talking points as if they're his original thoughts. Depressing.)

Posted by: CJ on March 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

X-Fileation.

Next we'll hear Glenn tell us about the secret UFO base, you know the one inside Diamond Head Crater, where people are being transported to the planet WTF.

This guy is dangerous, because his rants are totally, one-hundred percent bogus.

The right can't believe that their stature has been diminished.

I expect the loonies to keep on shrilling their drivel, in the hopes that like-minded dolts take up the sword and slay the
evil lefties.

It's war folks.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 17, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with dismissing him as mad, arguing that we need to ignore him, etc. is that he is sitting in the bully pulpit before a national television audience. He has these paranoid delusions of bizarre and elaborate conspiracies, and people get sucked in: He IS the expert, isn't he? He IS in a position to know, isn't he? I mean, prove to me that the Obama administration is NOT building secret concentration camps for conservatives. Prove to me that Obama is not driving towards a totalitarian state.

You can't ignore evil. You must shine a light on it. If people who know the truth stand by idly when terrible falsehoods are said, others assume that falsehoods have been endorsed as true. The more threatening and outlandish the claim, the better people remember the threat and the more real it will seem to them.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Another thing that irks me is the constant use and abuse of contradiction by the Reichtards and Galtards. For example, they'll gripe about Obama not being able to stop AIG bonuses, just weeks (minutes?) after complaining that the government doesn't have the right to impair contracts, to tell companies how much to pay employees, but even longer ago they would say e.g. that auto workers ought to take a pay cut despite union contracts (to the Right, union contracts aren't real contracts.)

I've thought of a brief saying about the Right, loosely based on another slogan:

Fraternity, Ferality, Fallacy

* They mindlessly defend their own until time to dump - BTW is this happening to GWB?
* They are mean and hateful, and worship social Darwinian self-interest, contempt for everyone not at the top, and vicious attacks and response against any opposition.
* They freely and shamelessly indulge logical fallacies and contradictions to pretend to make a case for themselves and their masters,

Posted by: Neil B ♣ on March 17, 2009 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, here's where we can get some work done.
I note Drudge calls the linkline "WHERE LIBS IN MEDIA GET THEIR MESSAGE: ELITE PRESS HAS SECRET LISTSERV..."
Note, he and many in MSM can say the silly-sounding "Libs" but it's considered bad form to use "cons" for conservatives ...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20086.html

JournoList: Inside the echo chamber
By MICHAEL CALDERONE | [right-sympathizer?]
3/17/09 3:59 AM EDT Updated: 3/17/09 9:33 AM EDT

A group of journalists meet online.
Illustration by Matt Wuerker

For the past two years, several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics have talked stories and compared notes in an off-the-record online meeting space called JournoList.

Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy?

Not at all, says Ezra Klein, the 24-year-old American Prospect blogging wunderkind who formed JournoList in February 2007. “Basically,” he says, “it’s just a list where journalists and policy wonks can discuss issues freely.”
...

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on March 17, 2009 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

What needs to be taken into consideration---and for the record, it needs to be taken into consideration NOW---RIGHT NOW---is this: What are the potential ramifications to dealing with the clear and present danger of Beck today, as compared to dealing with Beck six months from now, or a year from now, or two years from now?

History lesson: France and England had numerous opportunities to deal with the rising political threat in post-Wiemar Germany; multiple chances to smash the growing horror---twice with Czechoslovakia, the re-occupation of the Rhineland, the the confoundedly-compounded violations of Armistice limitations on German military strength---and they did nothing.

Talk is always considered "not that dangerous" by those who seek to cower from the lessons of history, whether those lessons address wildly-unregulated business practices, or running-amok religious xenophobia, or---in this case---a weakish little man who can exploit illegitimate fear as a means to power and wealth....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 17, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Three things:

1. The "key 18 - 54 demographic" is a tad misleading and makes it sound like half the nation is watching him. In reality, it's just a few million people. The demo information is only useful for advertisers and doesn't have much bearing on actual viewers.

2. These viewers are people who, in all liklihood, watch Faux News anyway. I highly doubt there are many people flipping around, landing on him, and thinking, "Wow! This guy makes sense!" Instead, he's just preaching to the choir.

3. While he's getting the ratings now, they'll drop once his paranoid delusions don't come true and people realize he's lost his freaking mind. Either that, or they'll go hide in the woods somewhere, wetting themselves, thinking they'll be rounded up by roving bands of Islamoabortionist Liberals. At least I hope they do -- it'll make it easier for us sane people to fix our country.

Posted by: Mark D on March 17, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I am furious that Obama diosmantled perfectly serviceable black ops outposts and is planning on closing Gitmlo and yet he's going to build NEW concentration camps?

Waste. WASTE. WASTE!

I think we can all agree on that much.

Weirdest thing. Years back, I found Beck to be one of the less dogma-steeped radio hosts. Today, he's surpassed Mike Savage in histrionics. It isn't translating to ratings. Is it in his contract to be loopy right?

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 17, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Most listeners don't really know Beck. Check him out and then you realize that there can't possbily be a reason to give him a moment of your time. He's to be ignored, for sure. His thinking is muddled for many reasons.

Posted by: fillphil on March 17, 2009 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Beck is a mormon and his craziness comes out of a peculiarly toxic mix of mormon patriarchal mysticism mixed with john Birch style political apocaplyticism. One of the original top John Bircher's was a high up in the Mormon church. If you read Beck's list of twelve important things he is very fixated on the notion of the "sovereignity" of the "husband and wife" over and above the government and also a pure reading of the constitution. Both of these are code phrases for the notion that the modern american state perverts the true founding documents (the bible/book of mormon *and* the constitution) every time it exerts any kind of power over the family or the religious community. The powers that are especially scary to these patriarchalists is the power to levy taxes, to create and enforce federal law, and the power to intervene within the family through mandatory schooling and reporting of abuse, divorce laws, and child support enforcement. Another area that typically gets entwined here in the paranoid thread is fear of government/national medical standards and practices which interfere with the head of the household's role as priest/medicine man. These are the same people who still think fluoridation is a "commie plot" and who also think that testing for mad cow disease and anti pollution laws are a liberal attack on capitalism. They also tend to think that childhood immunization, prenatal care, and spousal abuse laws are all equally problematic intrusions into the sancitity of the family sphere. Beck's rantings are incredibly popular with this kind of personb ecause they reflect an already existing world view. The fewer places these people see their ideas reflected, the more Beck's popularity will grow. It will be a small but very devoted and very dangerous viewer population.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on March 17, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

secret "concentration camps" to lock up conservatives?

All for it. Allow me to be the first to have the privilege of informing on my family.

Posted by: The Pale Scot on March 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hate radio and TV is just amazing. Where else can 3 ignoramouses who barely made it out of high school (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh) make it big in hate media?

I guess because they are so stupid, they can make this stuff up and not even know how loony they sound.

Posted by: Steve Falcon on March 17, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

FYI, "The Pale Scot" @11:47 is right-winger attempting to pass himself off as a progressive. Such comments are intended to provide "further evidence" of such a plot from the loony-left. These guys are shameless.

Posted by: Chris on March 17, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

I tell you what. When a leading GOP politician says we need to investigate Obama's planned concentration camps for conservatives, then you can say he's dangerous.

When hundreds of thousands of people are marching in the street calling for Beck to be named President via coup de tat and the U.S. military swears an oath of allegiace to him, then you can be worried.

Until then, all you can say is that Beck, a former radio shock jock, has decided that there's an opening for the angry conservative demographic that neither Hannity nor O'Reilly is appealing too and running for it full throttle.

To compare him to Fr. Coughlin is an insult to Fr. Coughlin. At least Fr. Coughlin began his career as a true populist. Beck is an entertainer.

Remember that: EN-TER-TAIN-ER. He's not in it for personal power. Just ratings

That why you should take such people with a grain of salt. Being one of the top shows on FOX is like being one the tallest buildings in Topeka. Hearing him rant make make a certain audience feel good, but change anything fundemental in the long run.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on March 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Coulter is harmless. Is Beck?

No, Beck is "mad as hell and not gonna take this anymore!"

Now stay tuned for the Sybil the Soothsayer Show.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on March 17, 2009 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

GLENN BECK: No. No, I'm not -- but I'm not a journalist. I'm -- I'm -- you know, I'm a rodeo clown. You know that.

Posted by: buermann on March 17, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

neither are harmless, but both should be totally and completely ignored.

Posted by: onceler on March 17, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The real problem here is not so much Glenn Beck, but Rupert Murdoch. I say hit Murdoch where it will hurt - his money. The FCC should fine any media outlet that allows incendiary or false material to be broadcast. For EVERY offense, the fines should be in the 10's of millions of dollars.

Posted by: James G on March 17, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

"That why you should take such people with a grain of salt."

Yeah, tell that to the people murdered in the Unitarian Church.

Posted by: James G on March 17, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Weren't there rumors of concentration camps being built during the W administration?

It's not rumor if it's true. But I guess they don't count since it's immigrants being held without trial for years and not real people.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on March 17, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Concentration camps for right-wingers was an article of faith for the John Birchers in the 1960s. Prospective inmates were called "patriots" instead of "conservatives" but the idea was the same.

A lot of this right-wing dreck seems to be recycled John Birch Society hysteria. Sooner or later Glenn Beck will spout off about codes on the back of Interstate signs that give directions to secret US defense sites for spies to follow.

Posted by: ejay on March 17, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don't you see? Bland Blech is merely the latest diversion put forth to us by the media, compliments of Murdoch and Monsanto, to distract us from what's really going on. The slow gradual usurping of all our rights. Retardican or Dumbocrat, left or right, it doesn't matter. The corporations are globally in control. In control of you, and in control of me. We are simply slaves arguing about which whip we would rather be beaten with.

Posted by: Anon on March 17, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck's brain is like something he scraped off his tires and stuffed into his ears to stop the hollow roaring sound.

Posted by: alan on March 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Aren't there laws against incitement, against stirring up mob violence and panic?

Or getting crazy people worked up to do something illegal or crazy?

Posted by: alan on March 17, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

J Free, your above rambling speaks more to conflation of emotion and fact. You then reach a conclusion that you will "stay independent with my eyes open and head up." So, stop relying on Beck for mindless information of dependency.

I too know FEMA relocation camps have existed since Reagan's presidency,but it is Beck who is now issuing a paranoid call to his "people" to react to something that has been around now for 28 years. Even you in all your independence should see the canard Beck is projecting! But alas, your head may be too far up! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 17, 2009 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ron @ 4:58pm, WTF? I think you are in need of a poli sci 101 course refreshener, if you ever had the experience in the first place! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 17, 2009 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

But the question is what could it be used for.(?)
--some guy above

We don't know. We just don't know.
--Dick Cheney on why Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

More than that, the huge fleet of publicly owned snowplows and road graders and postal vehicles could surround your house, all of them, and drive and drive until they've driven into the ground a huge ditch and then --and then! --what could you do?

We don't know. We just don't know.

Posted by: alan on March 17, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck and the entire msm are a pack of power tools.They work for the mighty buck alone singing sad jazz on repeat like a broken drone. Most of you are even bigger spit buckets for wasting your minutes worrying about who said what on TV, Phelps ripping bongs, Michelle Obama's clothes, and all the other pig vomit you sheep flex muscle to. Meanwhile your owners are passing stimulus packages which rob you blind and the monsanto owned democratic congress tries to push through bills to outlaw organic farming.

we're killing women and children in the middle east

and you clowns worry about Glenn Beck reporting on FEMA camps, if you've never heard of Fema Camps before you've been under a rock.

And the liberals know everything don't they? Enlightened ones holding the truth. They want to save the world in a voting booth, end world hunger without planting a seed, go green without an understanding of engineering, and spend spend spend without understanding simple monetary policy.

Most of you are slaves who think you're free. Unaware of your chains; free to bicker about Glenn Beck and free to read this poorly written article, in this online surface scratching piss-poor magazine an article written with petty thoughts for petty cash.

unaware guardians of the federal reserve...


Posted by: Donny on March 17, 2009 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

It was Republicans who instituted a black prison system.
It was Republicans who set up Guantanamo Bay.
It was Republicans who work to legalize torture.
It was Republicans who did everything they could to overthrow the Constitution.
It is Republicans who have done everything they could to turn the Justice system into a dictatorial force of political control and enforcement.
It is Republicans who stole a Presidential election through incitement of mob violence.
It has been Republicans who have controlled the entire national conversation on financial industry regulation for the past 25 years.
It is Republicans who would not enforce existing industry regulations unless someone sued them over it, resulting in mass poisonings.

Republicans are unable to understand anyone but themselves, that's why they listen to Glenn Beck. Every way you look at it, it's all about them.

Posted by: alan on March 17, 2009 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Olberman viewers UNITE!!

...all THREE of us!!

Posted by: Paranoid Liberal on March 17, 2009 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like the Wicked Witch of the East has released a hoard of feces-flinging flying monkeys our way a bit after 5pm... long after most regular readers had left this thread. A nice display of synchronous sycophancy, and perhaps a suggestion of why these folks should not be ignored...

Posted by: idlemind on March 17, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Who cracked open the booby hatch and let the inmates loose? (No, not the 'loosers,' the 'losers.') These last few posters seem to have forgotten where their padded accommodations are.

And, I think recess is now over.

But that's really the point:

I guess that the return to good old bat-sh*t crazy Joe Pyne/John Birch Society/Get Us Out Of The United Nations! screw-loosiness is perhaps a sign of a return to normaloonacy.

Times are still parlous, but, like the street people in any major city who become fixtures, the Glenn Beck-style of not-at-all-crypto "Konservative" is perhaps preferable to the facade of "reasonableness" that the craziness wore during their little trip to the altar of power.

It's not the same as crazy Timmie McVeigh reacting crazily to the crazy reaction at Wacko Waco (where the all-out assault and siege was a tragicomic death farce from day one) and Ruby Ridge.

Beck just may be our normal, red-blooded, traditional All-American tin-foil hat lunatic, and the case can be made that it isn't when these nuts have a soap box to loon at will, but when they feel they DON'T have that soapbox that they become truly dangerous and scary.

There may well be a direct and inversely proportional relationship between loony snark and loony impotence.

These days, the whole Krazy Konservative Movement, from their "moderates" -- who sound only mildly crazy -- to their extreme fringies, like Beck, is a "movement" in severe need of whatever the political equivalent of Viagra� is.

But perhaps I'm being too soft on them.

Beck is, perhaps, even more harmless than Coulter -- both of whom are, as you say, Steve, fundamentally clowns working for a seedy circus that's sliding inexorably into bankruptcy.

Posted by: Hart Williams on March 17, 2009 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hey you libs, we're not going anywhere. I know you think we will, ain't gonna happen.

No question, the frothing lunatics who feed on anger and conspiracy theories and ignore the catastrophic failure of their own ideology will always be with us.

There is a saying: "Against stupidity even the gods struggle in vain."

It's nothing to be proud of, though.

Posted by: trex on March 17, 2009 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well here we go... instead of focusing on the issues of today we find this stupidity in rumor and inuendo. Attacking someone's religion. Sheesh You folks need to open your eyes as to what this is all leading to and not be caught so to speak with your "pants down".... can't run with your pants down ya know.

You are focusing on a man who speaks some truth and it makes you scared. Instead of thinking about it you attack.

Another sign of dimwits ... is that why Beck has the highest rated show on at 5 pm? You are such fools!!!

Posted by: bmw61 on March 17, 2009 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Hart Williams, why don't you put down the pipe and learn how to write coherent sentences.

Posted by: FreedomtoFascism on March 17, 2009 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

You are focusing on a man who speaks some truth and it makes you scared. Instead of thinking about it you attack.

Let me assure you there is nothing scary about Beck except perhaps his notable lack of intellect and poor moral development. He is a racist, a bigot and a xenophobe who has no regard for the facts or the truth -- and if you'd like me to support that with examples, I can immediately begin posting dozens upon dozens of cites to prove it.

Beck couldn't reason his way out of a paper bag if he had directions and a map. He is another in a long line of right-wing hate-mongers that stretches from Goebbels to Father Coughlin to Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and others.

Also, his show was among the lowest rated on CNN which is why he was dropped.

Posted by: trex on March 17, 2009 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Eat your heart out, CNN, and MSNBC

Posted by: shirley on March 17, 2009 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Did you have a towel handy? We know how hurling baseless invectives make libs moist.

Baseless, eh?

According to Beck:

Mexicans are "lawbreakers from top to bottom" (who shouldn't be able to come here), that it was a country of "rapists" who -- by the way -- Glenn says that we are "at war with."

He famously asked a U.S. Congressman to prove that he isn't working with our enemies -- simply because he was Muslim. He asked another Muslim guest essentially the same question, framing the matter as if all Muslims are murderers.

He "joked" that now that Obama is president we can't use the word "black" anymore because "some black guy or Native American will beat the crap out of us.

Rather than substantive rejoinders he puts down women for being "fat" or "ugly,"

Racist, bigot, xenophobe.

On simple factual matters, he has presented false numbers on everything from global warming to the amount of oil in ANWR to the requirements to form a union.

I can understand why he appeals to the right, because he scapegoats all their problems on scary the scary caricatures that their peabrains cans understand.

Posted by: trex on March 17, 2009 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Whow, didn't know that libertarian-leaning libertarians & friends are so full of piss and vinegar.

Looks like Glenn Beck is their new patron saint. Who'd have thunk.

And they sure can mobilize an typist brigade.

Posted by: SRW1 on March 17, 2009 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

"You will probably learn that you socialists and communists are kissing cousins to the fascists!"

If that is what you learned from reading 'real history on political theory' the exercise would unforunately appear to have to be judged as having been in vain.

Posted by: SRW1 on March 17, 2009 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money."

Funny, that appears to be the problem with the current and very capitalist banking crisis.

The problem with juvenile-libertarianism appears to be that you eventually run out of quotes from the Founders as placeholders for actual arguments.

Posted by: trex on March 17, 2009 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

To SRW1: What surlyb was referring to

[actually, you posted as surlyb and under a number of other handles. sockpuppeting isn't permitted and will be deleted going forward -- mod.]

Posted by: pinky on March 17, 2009 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

...so...stating that if he utters that a black man is president will mean to the EXTREMISTS that he's a racist...is RACIST?!?

No, he's racist for suggesting that blacks and Native Americans are not in control of themselves and will turn to violence if he uses the term "black."

He's racist because he has labeled all Mexicans as "rapists" and "lawbreakers" based on nothing but the fact that they are Mexicans.

He's racist because he believes all Muslims are out to kill Americans unless they can prove otherwise.

That's why he's racist. It really couldn't be clearer. Dipshit.

Posted by: trex on March 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

[by sockpuppeting under various handles you have forfeited the privilege of posting here -- mod.]

Posted by: Prove it, Trek Punk on March 18, 2009 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

I think I can explain why people are listening to Beck. Our government officials generally think this way:

"I think people like Beck are dangerous. Anyone who spouts something this controversial should be put in prison. We can't have public figures talking about "reason" and the "constitution" to large audiences. These ideas are anachronistic and poison the public. While Beck is right about the move toward a totalitarian state, he will simply be a necessary victim in the new form of thought: collectivism." - Paula Smith

I was like... "wow is she joking?"

Personally, I don't trust the government anymore and I don't trust Glenn Beck. During a prosperous time they passed the patriot act. Now that we are financially melting down what are they willing to do? Beck himself has also done a 180 now that Obama and the democrats are in control. I'm no idiot.

Posted by: Athan on March 18, 2009 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Care to BACK THOSE UP with a reputable source, oh keeper of all racist justifications?

Yep, here you go, you ridiculous piece of shit. You can listen to the actual audio clips of his comments. Have at it!

http://mediamatters.org/items/200603270009

http://mediamatters.org/discuss/200805300001?threaded=0

http://mediamatters.org/items/200611150004

Let me know if you'd like more!

Posted by: trex on March 18, 2009 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

I am a political moderate, that said, Beck scares the heck out of me, as does the far left. If we in the middle (which is continuing to shrink in numbers) don't get a handle on extremists on either end of the spectrum, we are surely headed to a new civil war. A pox on both their houses.

Posted by: Kevin on March 18, 2009 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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